As parents it's our job to work with our child's teachers to support the learning process. But taking on the task of teaching reading, writing and math can be daunting for any parent.
So here's a hint that worked for me: Broaden your child's learning environment by taking a trip to a museum, an aquarium or zoo.
Include your child in the pre-planning of this excursion. If your kids are interested in dinosaurs help them to look on-line in search of a museum that can match their interests in prehistoric life. Look at a map and see where the museum is located. How long it will take to get there? What are the hours the museum is open? Which dinosaurs will they find there? Look at a calendar together to establish the best day to go. And, before you ever set off for the museum, take a trip to your local library to secure books on the various dinosaurs your child is soon to meet. Spend some time reading the books together. Consider having your child set up a chart with the names of their favorite dinosaurs, a timeline of when these creatures roamed the world and a few other kid friendly dinosaur facts. Then give your child the option of going museum " dinosaur hunting" as they search out their favorite prehistoric playmate.
What are you teaching? Reading, writing, math skills and more!
Reading to gather information: Using local libraries to find out specific information about things your child is interested in. You are also teaching the responsible use of the internet to find information on- line.
Map reading: Even if you are just pointing and tracking on a paper map you are acquainting your child with methods for learning how to get from one place to another. You are also introducing kids to their local community while teaching basic math facts, like miles = minutes.
Time management and calendaring skills: Teaching a child how to manage their own time and helping them to learn how to prioritize their wants and needs is a critical life skill. This is one simple way to do so.
Writing Skills: It's a whole lot more fun to write about thing that interest us. So encourage your child to keep a diary recording their visits to each of these sites. Make sure they include information about things they liked, what they learned, what they would do different next time. If your child fell in love with a dinosaur that was new to them, suggest that they write about it in their journal. Don't make corrections to their journals. This is for their use only, so don't get hung up on making sure everything is spelled perfectly. It might just squash the mood!
Communication skills: As a family, talk about your visits, what you saw and where you might want to go in the future. Let everyone share their opinion and model appropriate communication for your kids to follow.
A simple to trip to a museum, a zoo or an aquarium can spark an interest, expand knowledge and enhance skills all while having fun!